The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Religion or Belief, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, declared that the UN Human Rights Committee would rule in favour of former president Mohamed Nasheed, ensuring his candidacy in this year's presidential elections.
Dr Shaheed made the statement on Tuesday in a tweet. He stated that, with this decision by the UN, President Abdulla Yameen would be forced to stop the election.
Nasheed’s legal team of international lawyers had filed a case at the UN Human Rights Committee, claiming that the former president’s civil and human rights were being violated. They also urged the committee to ensure his candidacy for the upcoming elections.
Referring to this case, the former foreign minister of the Maldives, Dr Shaheed, said in a separate tweet that the Maldives was obliged to honour UN Human Rights Committee rulings as per the agreement signed on September 29, 2009.
Nasheed’s lawyers submitted the case at the committee after the Maldivian government ignored the ruling of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which had declared that the 13-year jail sentence Nasheed received on terrorism charges was against the law and that he should be released immediately.
The government had since then rejected the group’s decision, stating that it was biased and made without clarifying details from the state.
Nasheed’s 13-year jail term for the arbitrary arrest and subsequent detention of a sitting judge during his presidency prevents him from competing in the Presidential Elections 2018.
Despite Nasheed facing legal obstructions, main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) wants him as their presidential candidate and has claimed that his candidacy would be assured in time for the elections.